Football 2 years ago

EPL Week 15 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly

  • EPL Week 15 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 15 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 15 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 15 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly

The 1-1 draw between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park completed an interesting weekend of English Premier League football. 

Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea all dropped points unexpectedly; missing a good opportunity to gain on their rivals and advance up the table. However Arsenal and Leicester City did capitalise by recording strong wins. At the end of the round the Foxes sit atop the league with 32 points; two clear of the Gunners.

Elsewhere, Watford continued their strong season by beating Norwich 2-0. The win sees the Hornets rise to ninth on the table. Meanwhile Newcastle United turned around their awful run of form by beating Liverpool 2-0. The win has the Magpies in 18th place with 13 points, and leaves Jose Mourinho's Chelsea just two points clear of the bottom three. 

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Let's take a look at the Good, Bad and Ugly from the weekend:

Good.

Stoke City and Xherdan Shaqiri.

They are a team that often goes under the radar but Stoke City deserves praise after they dismantled Manchester City on the opening match of the round. The 2-0 win was largely down to an inspired performance by Xherdan Shaqiri. Shaqiri showed supreme quality on the ball and assisted both of Marko Arnautovic's goals.

While Shaqiri has had a slow start to his career at the Potters he completely dominated against the Sky Blues and was the best player on the pitch. The Manchester City midfield and defence had no answer for the diminutive Swiss international that regularly sliced them open with ease.

Stoke have undergone a period of transition over recent seasons. They are no longer the physically aggressive team that simply pumps long-balls up to the striker, and have instead transitioned into a very good footballing team.

Here is the highlight package of Shaqiri's performance against City:


Bad.

Liverpool.

It was typical Liverpool really. After destroying Southampton 6-1 in the Capital One Cup during the week, talk began to emerge about a possible title challenge from the Reds. And with many of their rivals dropping points it seemed like the perfect chance for Liverpool to push closer to a top four spot.

Yet instead of embracing and thriving under the pressure and expectation Liverpool crumbled. They put in a flat and insipid performance against Newcastle and were beaten 2-0. The Magpies were resolute in defence and certainly put in a better performance than they have recently, but they were made to look better by a disappointing Liverpool.

Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Lucas Leiva and Martin Skrtel all put in sub-par performances which leave the Reds six points off fourth place. 

The talk of a title challenge was premature. This Liverpool side is still yet to find any consistency.

Ugly.

Garry Monk.

The Swansea City manager is hanging onto his job by the thinnest of threads. A disappointing 3-0 loss to Leicester City at home means that the Swans have only won once in their past 11 matches; leaving them precariously close to the bottom three.

With just a two point gap separating them from the relegation zone Garry Monk's time in charge could be coming to an end sometime this week. Prior to this recent poor run of form Monk had done a superb job at the helm. Last season he guided the team to an 8th placed finish with their record points tally (56). However after a decent start to the 2015-16 campaign it has all gone sour for the team from Wales.

Monk believes he is the best man to turn around the recent misfortunes but admits that, ultimately, the decision is not his to make: "I believe I am the man to turn things around but it is out of my hands." A tough trip away to Manchester City next weekend could be the end of Monk's tenure which ha s turned ugly after such a promising start. 

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